With almost two weeks left before the Pretoria High Court hears the watershed court case brought by Prince Simakade against his half-brother, King Misuzulu KaZwelithini, over the Zulu throne, one of the sides is claiming foul play.
Prince Thokozani Zulu, one of the leaders of the grouping of Zulu royal family members in the corner of Prince Simakade, claims that the legal team of the king has pulled out an old affidavit of the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi to bolster his case.
The affidavit the king’s legal team has pulled out from the archives of the Pietermaritzburg High Court was filed for the 2021–2022 cases brought by Queen Sibongile Dlamini, the first wife of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini.
Dlamini’s case was bundled with those of Prince Mbonisi Zulu, who was fighting over the throne, and of Princess Ntandoyenkosi and her sister, Princess Ntombizosuthu Zulu-Duma, who were challenging the validity of the late king’s will.
During that case, which was eventually won by King Misuzulu, Buthelezi filed an affidavit detailing the process that was followed to nominate and come up with the name of the then Prince Misuzulu as the successor of King Goodwill Zwelithini.
He also explained the composition of the May 2021 meeting, where King Misuzulu KaZwelithini was the only nominee for the position of king.
Despite a call by the Pietermaritzburg that all those with interest in the issue of the Zulu throne, Prince Simakade and his faction did not join the fight back then.
Instead, they launched their separate challenge in Pretoria, where they want the recognition of King Misuzulu as the leader of the Zulu nation by President Cyril Ramaphosa to be set aside.
However, at the time of filing affidavits and exchanging papers, Buthelezi and King Misuzulu had a highly publicised fallout over the Ingonyama Trust.
Out of that fight, Buthelezi refused to dispose of a new affidavit in support of King Misuzulu and explain to the high court the processes followed until a new king was named.
Buthelezi publicly said he would not do so as the King has dumped their joint legal team from the Strauss Daly law firm in Durban and opted for new ones in Richards Bay.
He died on September 9, aged 95, having not signed the affidavit, adding fears that without them, King Misuzulu’s case would have been weakened.
Prince Thokozani told IOL on Tuesday that Prince Simakade would oppose the use of the old affidavit from the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
“In their previous letter, they wanted to pull out the unsigned affidavit by the Prince of KwaPhindangene (Buthelezi) and replace it with the old one from Pietermaritzburg.
“Through the ongoing exchange of affidavits and information ahead of the hearing, we learnt that they have used the old affidavit and added it as a supplementary one.
“We wish to make it clear that we have started a process to oppose that since these are two different things and this is unheard of,” Prince Thokozani told IOL.
The court case is expected to get under way in Pretoria from October 16 to 18, 2023.
When asked about these allegations, Prince Africa Zulu, the king’s spokesperson and right-hand man, said they didn’t want to litigate through the media.
“As far as we know, we are due to go to court in October, we have no plans of discussing legal issues in the media as such matters are reserved for courts.
“Creating confusion at this stage will not be ideal for both the crown or the Zulu people. His Majesty has won all the rounds; hence, he is a sitting king.
“He continues to emerge victorious. We therefore maintain our integrity and allow the court processes to unfold,” he responded.